Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Texas, my Texas

Texas state Senator Wendy Davis is a brave woman. She stepped up to the plate and reminded the world that not all Texans are right-wing nut cases. My home state had the misfortune of being the testing ground for Karl Rove and the scorched earth policy of American politics. Many people hate Texas as a symbol of all that is wrong with America - Texas as America's asshole. It's happening all over the country though, this hatred of women, this racism, this love of warfare, this intolerance. It's just the blessing and curse that Texas has. Everything's bigger in Texas.
The specific issue that she addressed - women's reproductive rights - has been addressed far better by others than I can put it. Comedian George Carlin said, "You have a right to life, but not a right to live." Holly Near has a great song called "Why, Oh Why." Read the lyrics here. Then seek it out as a download. It's powerful stuff.
I grew up in Amarillo, Texas. My relatives on both sides were Southern Baptists. One of the reasons the Civil Rights era moved me so was that I knew the melodies to so many of those songs sung by black Baptists. Martin was a Baptist. Sad to say, I was grown up before I learned that SOUTHERN Baptists were the denomination that split off from the others because they supported slavery. Anyway, I want to say that my relatives have overall been quite tolerant of my radical views as long as I spoke politely. They'd say, "Well, I don't agree, but you have a right to believe that."
The Texas I grew up in was a hospitable place (for a naive white kid). It is only in the last three decades that that the Reagan passive-aggressiveness and the Karl Rove-style hostility has come to the forefront. For all those who hate Texas I'd say just go ahead and hate the whole USA because you have the same germs. Well, ours ARE bigger, after all.

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